sports The Best Closers in Baseball History  

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List Rules Top relief closing pitchers / CLs ever in the MLB

Who are the best closers in baseball history? The players on this list shut down late innings with both class and style. Many of them are/were considered the best in the bullpen -- and among the greatest baseball players of all time, for that matter. Some are still playing, but others have officially retired from Major League Baseball. Enjoy this list of the top closing pitchers, vote for the closers you think are the greatest to ever hit the mound, and feel free to re-rank this list in any order you see fit. The best relief pitchers ever in baseball have one thing in common: They get the job done. When a closer takes the mound, it's crunch time. Often, the closer has the awesome responsibility of helping his team hold a narrow lead. One run could change the outcome, and the relief pitcher has to make sure no one hits him. There is a reason why closers are the highest paid relief players on the team, after all. Looking for more great baseball-related lists? Cast your votes for the top current baseball players, the greatest designated hitters of all time and the best hitters in baseball history.
list ordered by

1
757 136
Mariano Rivera is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Mariano Rivera Relief pitcher, Pitcher

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2
302 102
Rollie Fingers is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Rollie Fingers Pitcher

3
372 123
Dennis Eckersley is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History

4
318 108
Trevor Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Trevor Hoffman Relief pitcher, Pitcher

5
294 84
Goose Gossage is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Goose Gossage Pitcher

6
229 90
Bruce Sutter is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Bruce Sutter Pitcher

7
177 106
Billy Wagner is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Billy Wagner Relief pitcher, Pitcher

8
204 102
Lee Smith is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Lee Smith Relief pitcher, Pitcher

9
149 109
John Franco is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
John Franco Relief pitcher, Pitcher

10
249 71
John Smoltz is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
peis added John Smoltz Starting pitcher, Pitcher

11
162 76
Dan Quisenberry is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Dan Quisenberry Relief pitcher, Pitcher

12
114 99
John Wetteland is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
John Wetteland Relief pitcher, Pitcher

13
119 90
Hoyt Wilhelm is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Hoyt Wilhelm Pitcher

14
94 73
Jeff Reardon is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Jeff Reardon Relief pitcher, Pitcher

15
153 73
Craig Kimbrel is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Craig Kimbrel Relief pitcher, Pitcher

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16
100 98
Troy Percival is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Troy Percival Relief pitcher, Pitcher

17
85 41
Tug McGraw is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
AriBenarroch added Tug McGraw Relief pitcher, Pitcher

18
105 66
Dave Righetti is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Dave Righetti Relief pitcher, Pitcher

19
67 28
Kent Tekulve is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
chile6880 added Kent Tekulve Relief pitcher, Pitcher

20
109 94
Francisco Rodríguez is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History

21
74 89
Robb Nen is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Robb Nen Pitcher

22
97 79
Joe Nathan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
dca1983 added Joe Nathan Relief pitcher, Setup pitcher, Pitcher

23
105 69
Sparky Lyle is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Sparky Lyle Relief pitcher, Pitcher

24
53 27
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buskieboy added Tom Henke Relief pitcher, Pitcher

25
63 72
Rod Beck is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Rod Beck Pitcher

26
106 91
Éric Gagné is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Éric Gagné Relief pitcher, Pitcher

27
103 37
Aroldis Chapman is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Paul Nyhart added Aroldis Chapman Relief pitcher, Pitcher

28
67 89
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Brian Wilson Relief pitcher

29
56 72
Randy Myers is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Randy Myers Relief pitcher, Pitcher

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30
38 24
Al Hrabosky is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
slaft added Al Hrabosky Pitcher

31
93 102
Jonathan Papelbon is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Videoport Jones added Jonathan Papelbon Pitcher

32
25 15
Jesse Orosco is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
lavj81 added Jesse Orosco Pitcher

33
69 65
Willie Hernández is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
peis added Willie Hernández Pitcher

34
21 26
Greg Minton is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
mksyko added Greg Minton Pitcher - 140 Career save, 3.10 career ERA in an era where relief pitchers pitched more than 1 inning for a save

35
25 24
Steve Bedrosian is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
chile6880 added Steve Bedrosian Pitcher

36
65 57
Bobby Thigpen is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Bobby Thigpen Pitcher

37
14 20
Woodie Fryman is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
rouj79 added Woodie Fryman Pitcher

38
57 77
Mitch Williams is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Mitch Williams Pitcher

39
30 31
Brad Lidge is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
chile6880 added Brad Lidge Pitcher

40
47 88
Jason Isringhausen is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Jason Isringhausen Relief pitcher, Pitcher

41
18 2
Kenley Jansen is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
TRENT13 added Kenley Jansen Catcher, Pitcher

42
44 44
Mike Marshall is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Mike Marshall Pitcher

43
14 24
Jeff Shaw is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
slaft added Jeff Shaw Relief pitcher, Pitcher

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44
19 24
John Axford is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
ebelkids added John Axford Pitcher

45
23 36
José Valverde is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
slaft added José Valverde Relief pitcher, Closer, Pitcher

46
33 87
Francisco Cordero is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Francisco Cordero Relief pitcher, Pitcher

47
38 47
Rick Aguilera is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Rick Aguilera Pitcher

48
17 29
Rafael Soriano is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
slaft added Rafael Soriano Relief pitcher, Pitcher

49
8 16
Ervin Santana is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
-1456082551498 added Ervin Santana Starting pitcher, Pitcher

50
29 80
Heath Bell is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Heath Bell Relief pitcher, Pitcher